harder than it looks, ain't it?
I have 70deg solder, a decent 45W TC soldering iron set to the bottom
of its scale, Carr's Yellow Label and such, but I'm stuffed if I can
Anyone got any hints?
TC Iron - does it go down to 70 degrees ? Or does it stop at 150+ ?
Mine goes properly low, its a Antex 660TC.
Soldering whitemetal to other materials:
Tin other material with ordinary solder, a very thin layer. I use normal
60/40 solder. Then tin again with low-melt, over the top of the normal.
Then for whitemetal (to itself, or to other materials):
Clean up thoroughly to remove any grease traces. Use an agressive flux (I
think I have Carr's red label). Apply small tinning layer onto whitemetal.
Now make joint. This is where low-temp iron really scores because you can
raise the temperature without melting the casting. If jointing onto
brass/nickel, then heat that material.
Clamp things before making the joints. See article on David Eveleigh's
clamps on the 2mm website (below).
Other things which might be worth a try:
- Hot air blower, probably enough to melt the casting if used over
enthusiastically, but should melt the low-melt.
- Binding the tinned bits together, then dunk whole lot into boiling water,
bring back to boil, then let cool. In theory should melt the low-melt
- Araldite :-) Especially the nice thin runny sorts.
On 10/01/2006 19:11, Just zis Guy, you know? said,
Yes, it is difficult. I must admit that I often use an iron at pretty
much full temperature, but very quickly! I find that this means the
solder flows quickly without heat travelling into the rest of the
casting, so the solder has time to flow before the rest of the casting
knows too much about what is happening.
I think a few questions in response to you question might pinpoint the
exact problem. Are you trying to solder two whitemetal lumps together,
or whitemetal to brass or nickel silver or whatever? In the latter
case, 70 degree "solder" will only work with lead-based alloys, so you
need to tin the brass piece with normal (leaded) solder first, then
solder the whitemetal part to that layer of solder. Did that make sense?
If soldering two biggish whitemetal lumps together, I effectively weld
them using the 70deg as filler rod. I do short lengths at a time, and
try to keep the whole job cool. For a small part being soldered to a
large part, make sure you keep the heat in the larger part, and let it
flow through the joint into the smaller part.
I hope some of this helps.
I tend to set my TC iron to about 150 deg C for whitemetal work. Yes, I know
it will melt the whitemetal given chance, but as Paul says, get in and out
quickly. If I am doing two larger castings, then sometimes the iron will be
Most white metal goes at about 214 C so I find having the iron set at 180
C works for me. I've had my best results with Carr's Red Label and 70 C
solder. Clean the joints and put them together apply a brush full of flux.
Dip the iron tip in the flux and collect a small amount of solder on the
tip, place against the joint and wait. The solder should run in by
capillary action when the area is hot enough. For long joints I put a chip
of solder on the joint, clean the iron and use it to draw a small pool of
solder along the join. HTH
OK, thanks all, I think I have got the hang of it now. The major
problem is that the solder does not stick to the iron like electrical
Of course, this is soldering, isn't it? And what do we know about
soldering? Clean the workpiece, clean it again, clean it some more,
then give it a quick clean. Then clean (just to be on the safe side),
flux, tin, stick. Et viola! Or is it a violin? Anyway, give or take
the problem of gaping holes between the parts (easily filled with a
judiciously applied iron and some more solder) all now seems to be
well. And best of all, if you make a complete pig's ear you just dunk
it in a pot of boiling water, pick up the bits and collect the solder
when the water's cooled down! Gel superglue? No thanks :-)
Two happy small boys are now admiring their white metal figures :-)
Make sure you have adequate ventilation!
Since I've started using one of those little extractor fans with built in
filter (bought from CPC , IIRC), I find my lungs are a bit less clogged
after a kit-building session!